Letter: Good news for bicyclists heading up Vail Pass
After writing a column a month ago in The Vail Daily about the bike path being rebuilt and rerouted on the upper part of the ride, I subsequently wrote to CDOT about the one concern the column expressed: “I do wonder … watching bulldozers carving deep dips in the soil for the new path, if it’s going to be an uphill rollercoaster, as if we need to power ourselves up more nasty little grades on top of the 2,200-feet of elevation gain for the climb? Sure, it’s uphill no matter how you do it but for my part, I hope they fill in those deep dips and let us climb it evenly.”
I just heard back and the good news is, they’re going to. Mostly.
A CDOT spokesman wrote, “Many of the deep dips currently visible are to allow the construction of the retaining walls that will support the future trail alignment. The future trail will be on top of the wall in those areas, which would not require riders to drop grade and have to re-climb. The profile for the new trail is relatively smooth and generally presents a constant climb for the entire length.”
He explained that in the new configuration, maximum slope grades will be 10% (not comfy but not killers) with one short piece at 13% (which still won’t be as long, nor as steep, as the dreaded “Wall,” which is 14%).
It’ll always be a tough ride, but thankfully not as tough as I’d feared.